“If My beloved consort reproaches Me in a sulky mood, that steals My mind from the reverent hymns of the Vedas." (Lord Krishna, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 4.26)
During the Treta Yuga, the second time period of creation which occurred many thousands of years ago, God incarnated on earth in the form of Lord Rama, a handsome and pious prince dedicated to the principles of dharma. As part of His pastimes, the Lord voluntarily accepted banishment to the forest by his father, the king of Ayodhya, Maharaja Dashratha.
“For what reason then did you not wish to take your wife with you, who is of good character and devoted to her husband?” (Sita Devi speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, Sec 29)
Being married to His wife Sita at the time, the Lord went to inform her of His predicament and at the same time He requested that she remain in the kingdom for the exile period, which would last fourteen years. Sita found such a request to be not in line with dharma, and she made her feelings known to Rama. She lectured the Lord on the proper duties of a husband and wife, and the above statement was made towards the end of her remarks.
Sita Devi was the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, who is God’s pleasure potency according to the Vedas. In the spiritual world, Krishna, or God, is constantly being served by His pleasure potencies, known as the goddesses of fortune. In His expansion as Lord Narayana, His is married to Lakshmi, who is completely devoted to Him and serves Him constantly. Naturally, when the Lord descends to earth, He brings along with Him His primary associates. For this reason, Lakshmi descended as Sita Devi, and played the role of Rama’s wife. Her trademark characteristic was that of being completely devoted to her husband, who was God Himself. She had no other interest in her life. It was for this reason that she so vehemently objected to the Lord’s request that she live without Him.
Judging Sita’s statement on the surface, it appears that she is acting in a rude manner. Her statement is in essence a chastisement of Rama. “What on earth was going through your mind when you asked me to stay here? Have you gone mad?” Addressing God in such a tone may seem improper, but it actually represents the highest form of devotion. A husband and wife share a very intimate relationship. It is very common to see a wife yelling at her husband in order to correct any flaws she perceives in him. The term “a nagging wife” is an outgrowth of this scenario. A good husband will excuse such outbursts from his wife because he knows that she is doing it out of love. In a similar manner, when we were young, our mothers would always hound us about wearing our jackets when going out in the cold, or about eating dinner on time, or making sure we did our homework. We hated being pestered in this way when we were young, but as we matured, we realized that it was all done out of love. The mother loves the child so much that she is even willing to punish him for his benefit.
Sita’s chastising of Rama was done purely out of affection, and in actuality, Rama purposefully created such a situation where she would have the opportunity to correct Him. God prefers the form of worship exemplified by Sita over any other kind of worship.
The Vedas are the ancient scriptures of India, originating from God Himself, first passed down through oral tradition, and more recently through written books. Veda means “knowledge” and the term “Vedas” refers to the four Vedas, Ramayana, Upanishads, Vedanta-sutra, Puranas, or any other work that is in line with the principles of the original Veda. The Vedas started out as one doctrine known as the Veda, but Lord Krishna’s literary incarnation, Vyasadeva, divided them into four based on specific classifications. The Vedas are composed of various hymns which are sung by devotees and expert brahmanas for specific purposes. Since the songs address God directly, His attention is always captured when they are sung.
From Lord Krishna’s statement, we can understand that lovingly chastising the Lord is a higher form of worship than chanting songs about Him. The reason for this is that most of us worship God in a reverential fashion. God is great, so we tend to view Him as our father, with the living entities being His children. While such a perspective is very nice, it is only the beginning stage of understanding the Lord. If we can raise our consciousness through practicing regulative principles and singing songs about the Lord, then we get closer to the stage of pure love of Godhead, which was exemplified by Sita Devi and the damsels of Vrajabhumi.
When Lord Krishna personally came to earth some five thousand years ago, He engaged in loving affairs with the cowherd girls of Vrindavana, known as the gopis. Krishna and the gopis took part in the most pure form of love, something not known to the material world. This form of worship is the highest because it allows one to have the most intimate and personal relationship with God.
Sita Devi was the perfect devotee and we should all learn from her example. She viewed her husband with reverence, but also as her dearmost, intimate friend. Many of us fear God initially because we don’t know Him that well. We visit temples and see large deities of the Lord which can be very intimidating. According to Vedic culture, a wife is supposed to view her husband as her primary deity, and thus should worship and serve him to her fullest capacity. The husband is the “man” of the house and is required to provide full and complete protection to the wife. So when Lord Rama ordered His wife to stay at home and not follow Him to the forest, she easily could have listened to Him and not been faulted for it. However, Sita was on the highest platform of devotional service, so she transcended all mundane rules and regulations. She revered Rama, but did not fear Him.
Lord Krishna is the most merciful, for He allows Himself to be purchased by the love of His devotees. Knowing such a fact, who wouldn’t want to make devotional service to Him the only business of their life? May the glorious Sita Devi always be in our hearts and minds, and may she always accompany her Lord wherever He may go.
Categories: glories of sita devi